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It’s National Apprenticeship Week! – our former apprentices talk about developing their career at Citizen

This week is National Apprenticeship Week!

The week, which runs from 6 February to 13 February, celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships make to individuals, organisations and the wider economy.

At Citizen there are several people who started their career as an apprentice with us and we’re highlighting their experience as part of the week.

Maintenance Support Administrator Antonia Bailey completed a Business NVQ 1-3 and she also won Apprenticeship of the Year.

She said: “I left school after completing my GCSEs and two weeks later I was sat at a desk asking myself ‘how have I got here, I am so out of my depth’.

“Never would I have imagined then that two years later I’d be leaving with a Level 3 in Business, had just won an Apprenticeship of the Year award and I was about to start a permanent position.

“Going straight from school into working life was an eye opener. I was 16, nervous and didn’t know what I had let myself in for. Fortunately, I was placed with a team who were very welcoming, supportive, and patient and I am so grateful for that. During my apprenticeship I was based in the Property Lettings Unit, and I loved it all, from the application entries to the site visits.”

Antonia said during her apprenticeship she learnt skills that could be used daily from communications skills to problem solving and organisation.

She added: “I believe apprenticeships are very good, particularly for those straight from school. It’s a way to get young people straight onto a career path. Personally, attending college and being sat in a room all week being ‘told’ how to complete a business qualification would not have given me the experience I have now and 21 years employment.

“For anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, do it, find the programme that interests you and earn while you learn.”

Income Officer Salima Motarwala also completed an NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service.

She said: “Being in an apprentice role helped me gain skills and knowledge within Customer Services. At the age of 18 I was earning a full-time wage and continuing with my studies, which was great. More than 20 years later I’m still here!

“I have worked in various roles, and they have all been customer facing. My current role is as an Income Officer.  This is a customer focused role, and it is crucial to have the knowledge and people skills to support customers and help them to sustain their tenancy.

“I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to others. It gives you an opportunity to start building your career at a young age. Not only does it enable you to continue with your studies, but you are gaining valuable skills and experience at the same time.

“If you’re considering an apprenticeship, you will be given the right training, support and encouragement from your colleagues and manager. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to study and earn but more importantly to gain experience.”

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